What do you do when you have an entire ecosystem of solutions for energy management, networking, security and digital health care solutions for homes, businesses and community-wide infrastructure? You build a whole new community.
That’s what Panasonic and eight other companies that are spearheading and calling the Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (SST) in Japan. The smart town will feature widespread use of energy-saving devices and solutions that integrate energy creation, storage and management, Panasonic says.
The 19-hectacre town will be built on the former site of a Panasonic plant and contain 1,000 homes and commercial and public buildings for about 3,000 residents.
Homes and buildings will feature energy-producing solar panels and energy storage devices—perhaps Panasonic’s much-touted fuel cells?—with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 70 percent, compared to the 1990 levels.
“After the Great East Japan Earthquake, there is renewed attention for energy infrastructures that are safe and secure with solar power generation systems and storage battery systems installed on a community basis,” Panasonic said in a press release.
High-tech and eco features being planned or considered include:
- A solar panel design that blends with the town’s lush green landscape.
- Homes with ample space for installing storage battery equipment and other energy systems.
- Creation of new space and synergies for electric vehicles, garages and homes to promote electric vehicle sharing.
- Power and information networks that are connected from the start, employing optimally designed infrastructure based on Panasonic’s comprehensive solutions.
- Combination of comfort and high environmental performance by packaging systems, mainly consisting of energy generating devices (solar power generation, home fuel cells), energy storage devices (storage batteries, heat-pump hot-water system, etc.), energy saving devices (air conditioners, lighting, etc.), SEG (Smart Energy Gateway), and in-home displays.
- “Evolving Systems” with future network compatibility in mind, including smart home appliances.
- Residential storage battery systems for emergency use in each home and diagnostic and maintenance services that allow for adding storage capacity according to future changes, such as selling excess electricity from solar power generation.
- Optimal control of lighting, sensors and surveillance cameras to watch over the entire town.
- Energy creation, saving and storage equipment for the four domains of wind, light, heat and water, enabling energy efficient use of the devices for entire stores. (Field testing is underway at the Panasonic store for employees in Okegawa City, Japan.)
Partners of the Fujisawa SST project include Accenture, Mitsui & Co., Mitsui Fudosan Co. / Mitsui Fudosan Residential Co., Nihon Sekkei, ORIX Corporation, PanaHome Corporation, Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co., and Tokyo Gas Co.
Fujisawa SST is scheduled to open by March 2014 and have every home occupied in 2018, the year of Panasonic’s 100th anniversary. In the next six months, the project calls for establishing basic designs for infrastructures and smart houses, finalizing basic specifications for the systems and products to be introduced and designing the service models.